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  • There's only one thing we want to tell you in this introduction, and that's the fact

  • you really don't want to end up on death row.

  • After hearing these 50 facts we guarantee you that your mind will be blown.

  • 50.

  • Ok, some hard facts first.

  • Some of you might be wondering what exactly is death row.

  • Well, it's simply the name for a part of prison where inmates await their execution.

  • For instance, if you get sentenced to death in California you'll go to a death row unit

  • at either Corcoran State Prison or San Quentin Prison.

  • You're thinking, tell me something I don't knowok, how about the fact that California

  • leads the U.S. in terms of how many people are on death row.

  • The current number is 725 as of January 1st, 2020.

  • ' Florida is next with 347 death row inmates

  • and Texas gets the bronze with 218 death row inmates.

  • 49.

  • We'll give you some more hard facts soon, but let's now add some insanity to this

  • story.

  • As you might guess, some death row inmates are not of a sound mind.

  • They might not have been declared insane in the courts, but it's very likely they were

  • very much certifiably mad.

  • In 2004, a man named Andre Thomas killed his estranged wife and two children.

  • He used a different knife for each killing, later saying he didn't want to contaminate

  • them withdemons”.

  • He removed some of their organs and subsequently stabbed himself in the chest.

  • He then left a voicemail message for his dead wife's parents.

  • It went like this, “I need y'alls help, something bad is happening to me and it keeps

  • happening and I don't know what's going on.

  • I need some help, I think I'm in hell.

  • I need help.”

  • He turned himself in and confessed to what he had done.

  • While he was in jail he removed one of his eyes, and later three doctors confirmed this

  • guy had schizophrenia.

  • The state didn't care, and the man stood trial and was sentenced to death.

  • While serving time on death row he removed another eye... and proceeded to eat it.

  • He's still waiting for his execution.

  • Yep, that's a crazy story, and they will get even crazier.

  • 48.

  • So, which states have executed the most death row inmates since 1976?

  • The top three states are: Oklahoma with 112, Virginia with one more at 113, and Texas far

  • away at number one with 566 executions.

  • 47.

  • A lot of you don't know this, but it can take a really long time to get yourself executed,

  • often between 15 and 20 years.

  • The average time spent on death row before execution or releaseyep, a lot of guys

  • have been innocent on death rowis 16 years.

  • 46.

  • People literally go mad waiting to be killed by the state, and this madness is actually

  • a phenomenon with a name.

  • It's called, “death row phenomenon”, and we are going to talk more about that later.

  • For now, all you need to know is it means basically losing your mind.

  • 45.

  • Ok, so you can spend a lot of time on death row.

  • As you'll see, more inmates on death row have been innocent that you would believe.

  • In fact.

  • It's mind-blowing, and sad, just how many folks have gotten off death row.

  • One man spent 39 years there and his name was Gary Alvord.

  • He murdered three people and was sentenced in 1974, but like the guy we just talked about,

  • he had a long history of severe mental illnesses including schizophrenia.

  • The state knew very well he was totally insane, and that's why he could never be executed.

  • He waited 39 years and saw 75 other death row inmates in Florida leave and never come

  • back.

  • He died of a brain tumor in 2013.

  • 44.

  • Ok, so one more person that spent a long time on death row was a guy named Jack Alderman,

  • and he spent 33 years fighting for his freedom.

  • He was accused of killing his wife, although there was no forensic evidence and the story

  • is just plain weird.

  • He was sentenced only on the testimony of another man…a man who might have actually

  • been the killer.

  • The execution of Alderman has been called a gross miscarriage of justice, because it

  • is highly unlikely he killed his wife.

  • He was offered all kinds of deals, and wouldn't have been executed if he'd only said he

  • was guilty.

  • He refused to do this every time he was offered a plea deal, and said he just couldn't admit

  • to doing something he hadn't done.

  • He was executed in 2008.

  • 43.

  • You don't actually have to kill someone to be convicted of murder.

  • You can end up on death row having been convicted of murder, but you might not have been sentenced

  • for actually killing someone.

  • 42.

  • If that's confusing to you, here's a story.

  • One night you are hanging out at the park, but this particular night there are a couple

  • of guys you don't know that well.

  • All you guys get a bit drunk and then decide to go into town.

  • Those two new guys get into a fight.

  • They beat some dude so bad he dies.

  • You were merely there, and you didn't even throw a punch, plus you didn't know these

  • guys very well.

  • But if you're poor, have a crappy lawyer and maybe a couple of minor crimes to your

  • name, you might be charged with something calledfelony murder.”

  • If you are African American you are even more screwed.

  • Sadly, racial bias in the American justice system is still prevalent.

  • Ok, the point is, you sometimes just have to be there.

  • If you do your research, you'll find lists of people who were executed for just being

  • there.

  • It was the other guy that pulled the trigger or stuck in the blade.

  • You'll find names such as G.W. Green, Carlos Santana, Joseph Garcia and many more.

  • 41.

  • One more thing you need to know is that you could get charged for murder if one of your

  • friends dies.

  • Yep, if you've heard of theElkhart Four”, you'll know that four kids decided to burglarize

  • a house and the house owner shot and killed one of those kids.

  • The three other kids were charged with felony murder and were looking as 55, 50 and 55 years

  • behind barsfor something some guy did when protecting his house.

  • They didn't end up spending any time on death row and eventually got much lower sentences,

  • but it's a warning to you all.

  • 40.

  • A guy named Nick Yarris spent 22 years on death row for a crime he didn't commit.

  • He educated himself there, and he was later released after DNA evidence proved that he

  • did not commit the crime.

  • Yarris sued the Delaware County District Attorney's Office and the settlement was $3 million.

  • You can see his story in the documentary film, “The Fear of 13.”

  • 39.

  • What about lethal injection, what is that?

  • It's a three shot cocktail.

  • The first part is usually sodium thiopental, a super-strength barbiturate that basically

  • knocks the person out.

  • Then, pancuronium bromide, a muscle relaxant, should make the lungs not work so well and

  • the third part is potassium chloride.

  • Enough of this will affect the heart and should bring on cardiac arrest.

  • We should also say that certain states have their own recipes.

  • 38.

  • Actually, lethal injection, while generally viewed as the most humane form of execution

  • in modern times, has a really high botch rate at 7.1 percent.

  • Yep, that's a lot of botching, and you could ask if the formidable guillotine at least

  • caused less pain for some folks.

  • Firing squads also had a 100 percent success rate.

  • The botch rate of the electric chair is 1.9 percent, hanging, 3.1 percent, and the gas

  • chamber, 5.4 percent.

  • 37.

  • You might now be thinking, wait a minute, in recent years there have been bodies piling

  • up all over the USA during what we call the opioid crisis.

  • In 2018, there were 46,802 deaths related to opioids such as heroin and fentanyl and

  • the new tidal wave of prescription opioids.

  • The numbers were similar in 2017 and 2019.

  • So, that's around 150,000 deaths, which if you've ever seen one, pretty much means

  • going to sleep and not waking up.

  • It seems pretty humane.

  • Since 1999, there have been around 800,000 deaths in the USA because of drugs, and mainly

  • the deaths were opiate related, although the opiates might have been mixed with another

  • drug such as a benzodiazepine.

  • Then there's the lethal threesome, the opioid, the benzoand the booze.

  • Anyway, some people have said why not give people a strong drug like Fentanyl when you

  • want to execute them.

  • It's obviously a formidable killer on the streets, so why not mainline murderers with

  • it.

  • Well, in 2018, Nebraska became the first state to use Fentanyl as part of a lethal injection

  • and they even threw in a benzodiazepine.

  • They knocked him out with the opioid, slowed him down with the relaxant, and for good measure

  • they threw in some of the heart stopping potassium chloride.

  • 36.

  • Lethal injection often fails simply because the executioners can't find a vein, but

  • on one occasion they actually injected the substances into the flesh of a man and not

  • his veins.

  • 35 minutes later and he got another shot.

  • That kind of timeframe is what we now callcruel and unusual punishment.”

  • Others have just reacted badly to the cocktail, with their bodies going into spasms and moans

  • coming from their mouths.

  • Still, the real horror stories involved the gas chamber and the electric chair.

  • This you'll hear about later.

  • 35.

  • There might also be two separate cartridges during a lethal injection.

  • The second one is a back-up.

  • 34.

  • A guy named Romell Broom actually survived his execution in 2009.

  • Over the period of two hours, the executioners tried to find a vein.

  • Romell, reportedly sobbing at times, even helped them.

  • But it failed.

  • They took him off the gurney and the state was accused ofcruel and unusual punishment.”

  • Romell is still on death row today.

  • 33.

  • Ok, so this was before modern death row, but when the British first settled in the colonies

  • they had a list of 222 crimes that were punishable by death.

  • If you destroyed a fish pond you could die.

  • Or if you messed with a rabbit warren you could be strung up.

  • Painting your face black at night was also a capital crime.

  • Yep, that's crazy, but we have morecrazydown the line.

  • 32.

  • Serial killer Phillip Carl Jablonski was on San Quentin's death row for many years.

  • He was an avid letter writer, and had pen pals all over the world.

  • He would sometimes draw cartoons on the letters, but often they were quite disturbing.

  • In fact, his letters could be pleasant in parts, and then suddenly he'd talk about

  • really gruesome things he'd done.

  • He actually killed his first wife, but married a female pen pal while doing time for that

  • murder.

  • When he got out, they could finally be together as a real married couple.

  • He soon killed his new wife and also killed her mother.

  • Jablonski would kill again, and he would get caught.

  • Believe or not, more women proposed to him when he was on death row.

  • He recently died in his cell, so he's no longer an eligible death row bachelor.

  • 31.

  • In fact, a few people have gotten married while on death row.

  • One of the worst serial killers of all time got married even though his hobby was brutally

  • killing women.

  • His name was Ted Bundy.

  • Some women have a thing for killers.

  • There is a term for it.

  • It's calledhybristophilia.”

  • 30.

  • The death penalty was actually abolished for a while, but it came back in 1976.

  • In the U.S., there are only 29 states in which you can be legally killed by the state.

  • 29.

  • Since 1976, there have been 1,512 executions in the US.

  • 28.

  • Only 15 of those executions were of women, and twenty two of the executed people were

  • juveniles.

  • 27.

  • Since the death penalty there have been a total of 294 cases of clemency.

  • This is when someone with power steps in and says this guy should not be killed.

  • The president or the state governor could do this, but they will have to weigh up a

  • lot of facts and also think about the public's reaction.

  • This doesn't mean the person is released, or what we callexonerated”.

  • It just means the person's death sentence has been commuted to another sentence.

  • And yes, it sometimes happens like it does in the movies.

  • That is, it can happen just hours before the execution is due to be carried out.

  • In 2020, a guy named Jimmy Meders was given clemency just a few hours before he was about

  • to get a lethal injection.

  • His sentence was reduced to life without the possibility of parole.

  • Meders was accused of killing a store clerk, but he says another guy did it.

  • He's even tried to get DNA evidence to support this, but that hasn't been possible yet.

  • He claims he is innocent.

  • He had no criminal history before the event and has a spotless prison record, which was

  • all taken into consideration when he was granted clemency.

  • We will soon tell you shocking facts about innocent people on death row, but we think

  • you need to hear other facts first.

  • 26.

  • One Republican governor shocked the world in the early 2000s.

  • His name was George Ryan and in 2003 he said, ok, enough is enough, something stinks here,

  • and he pardoned every death row prisoner.

  • Yep, all 163 men and four women who'd already served collectively over 2,000 years were

  • taken off death row.

  • Why would he do such a thing, you might be wondering?

  • Ok, let's just give you his statement.

  • It's best you hear it from him: “'The facts that I have seen in reviewing

  • each and every one of these cases raised questions not only about the innocence of people on

  • death row, but about the fairness of the death penalty system as a whole.

  • Our capital system is haunted by the demon of error: error in determining guilt and error

  • in determining who among the guilty deserves to die.”

  • A lot of people were upset, and not only die-hard fans of legalized killing.Some of the families

  • of the victims were annoyed and upset.

  • The thing is?

  • Were they gunning for the right man to die?